Road frames: 953 Vs 851

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  • Road frames: 953 Vs 851
  • blurty

    I’m thinking of getting a road frame made, and considering either a 953 or 851 frame. I gather that an 851 frame will tend to be stiffer than 953, but will it be heavier?

    Does anyone know?



    Do you mean 853?
    All steels have the same modulus of elasticity and density (though the higher grades have greater tensile strength) So stiffness is a function of tube wall thickness and diameter (Ben Cooper will be along shortly to correct me).
    So for the same tube profiles 953 will be stronger (and shinier and 3 times as expensive) but not lighter,unless you use less of it.
    The new 931 tube sets are worth a look if you’re set on stainless.

    Premier Icon mboy

    You mean 853? Or 931?

    953 has a higher tensile strength than 853 or 931, so if you use the same amount of material (specific density is the same as near as) the frames would weigh the same but the 953 one would be stronger. For the same strength, you’d use less 953 than you would 853, so it would be very slightly flexier for the same strength.

    FWIW, 953 looks amazing IMO, but it’s more expensive than titanium! You’ve got to want to make a statement (and ride a highly mirror finish polished frame) to bother with 953…


    Best to ask a frame builder like Rourke who do both. I believe that 953 frames are a couple of hundred grammes lighter due to thinner side walls. 853 is much better value but the bare finish option and the cachet of 953 was what I went for.


    This is what I decided on. 853 frame, brazed, with Record EPS groupset + Thomson & Fizik finishing kit. Wheels are Chis King + H Plus Son rims, built by our local wheelbuilder in Matlock.
    Tim at Sword Cycles made the frame & built it all up for me. (He supplied & built everything apart from the wheels)

    Handles very well and the EPS groupset has been a revelation.

    Thanks for all the advice.

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